IEEE Congressional Visits Day
Tom Coughlin, IEEE-USA President Elect, Past Director IEEE Region 6
On May 9, 2018 several folks from Region 6 attended the SET Congressional Visits Day in Washington DC (https://ieeeusa.org/advocacy/cvd/). These have been done for decades and the IEEE joins several other technical organizations in carrying on these visits.
There were over 60 IEEE members participating from throughout Regions 1-6. We spent a day of training on how these visits work, what is the most effective way to do such a meeting (usually with legislative staff) and what IEEE-USA’s official policy positions are. I was one of four participants from CA. Below is a picture of the CA participants with Zoe Lofgren, Congressperson from the 19th district in California (which includes much of Silicon Valley).
California 2018 CVD Participants from California with Zoe Lofgren (CA-19th District Representative [Left to right: Upkar Dhaliwal (San Diego), David Gonzalez (Inland Empire), Zoe Lofgren (Congresswoman for CA 19th District), Tom Coughlin (Santa Clara Valley) and Kenneth Kitlas (Oakland East Bay)]
In addition to visiting Senators and Congress People (our little group visited Senator Dianne Feinstein’s and Kamala Harris’s offices) we also participated in science and technology support awards for Representative Jim Langevin from Rhode Island as well as Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. The photo below shows Candy Robinson (2018 IEEE-USA President and me) during the award presentation to Senator Murkowski.
Attending the 2018 Congressional Visits Day with other IEEE members was very enlightening. We met with several congressional and senatorial staff and talked to them about our experiences and wishes. I also saw a lot of people from various organizations and companies visiting these offices. I had a free hour between meetings and even got a chance to visit the Library of Congress again (a beautiful and interesting building) and look at a Gutenberg bible and other old documents (including some meso-american codices). I would recommend the experience to other folks for 2019.